The first part of the process to keeping your customers is the cue or trigger. This is what causes the user to perform the intended action. The intended action is the core action of the site; for Twitter it would be posting a tweet, for Amazon it would be buying a product.
Triggers come in two types: internal and external. External triggers can consist of paid triggers like advertisements, earned triggers like being featured in the App Store or receiving good press, relationship triggers that are spread through word of mouth, or owner triggers, where the users themselves choose to sign up for email updates or download the app. More importantly are internal triggers, which are situations when the choice to perform the intended action comes from internal motivation.
Negative emotions like boredom, loneliness or frustration have been shown to be powerful internal triggers. Recent studies have linked depression and loneliness to higher email usage. When we feel lonely we check Facebook. If we are confused or unsure we use Google. When we want to capture a moment of time fearing we will forget it, we open Instagram. These negative emotional states occur constantly in everyday life, and companies have taken advantage of them by providing a solution to those problematic feelings.
Keeping Your Customers Using Triggers
Once a trigger has occurred, the next step in the hook model is action. More specifically, it is “the simplest action in anticipation of a reward” (Eyal). On Pinterest, it is the scroll. On YouTube, it is the play button. Whatever the core action of the product is, it needs to be simple, easy, and fast.
BJ Fogg writes, “The FBM (Fogg Behavior Model) has three principal factors that I refer to as motivation, ability, and triggers. In brief, the model asserts that for a target behavior to happen, a person must have sufficient motivation, sufficient ability, and an effective trigger. All three factors must be present at the same instant for the behavior to occur.”
The Reward Stage
The third step in the hook model is the most pleasurable: the reward stage. Variable rewards are the most appealing because they maintain novelty in the user experience. Once humans figure out a causal relationship between two ideas, they lose interest and become bored (O’Doherty). However, because users do not know exactly when the reward will come, they continue to complete the core action.
In Eyal’s Hook Model, he identifies three primary types of variable rewards that websites are using to help form habits. These include rewards of the tribe, rewards of the hunt, and rewards of the self. It is important to build variable rewards into a product in order to make it habit forming. It is also vital to remember that the presence of variable rewards is not a sure gimmick, and the product must still address the initial problem that the user is trying to solve.
The Investment Phase
The last phase of the Hook Model is the investment phase, where users put in effort into the application in order to make it more valuable for them. The basic idea is that investments increase the likelihood of the next pass through the Hook Model in two ways: loading the next trigger, and storing value in the product so that it improves with use.
In messaging apps like Snapchat, the reward is receiving a picture or video message from someone and the investment is opening the app and responding. This helps to load the next trigger which is a notification that a new message has been received. The idea is that asking users to invest some time and effort into the application will cause an attitude change. Users reason that they would not spend time on something they do not enjoy, so if they are investing time and effort into the app or service they must enjoy it.
Lastly, the idea of reciprocity is built into the investment phase. Social psychologists have found that the norm of reciprocity is a strong motivator to act. Today’s products dole out variable rewards and expect the user to reciprocate by investing effort into the product.
The main idea of the investment phase is to leverage the users’ understanding that the service will get better with use. A good investment phase will break up the activities into smaller chunks to increase the likelihood of completion, store the value of that effort effectively, and most importantly, load the next trigger to start the cycle all over again.
Take A Ways
Utilizing the above methods are essential in building your small business presence on the internet. You pay a lot of money attracting your customers to your site. Once there, you have to provide them with something and keep them on your page.
Creating interest on your digital property increases your “quality” score with search engines. It also boosts your rankings leading to more site visits and sales. This endeavor can be expensive and making sure you have the necessary capital to achieve this success is essential. Always have a line of credit with your bank or an alternative lender lined up. Doing so makes sure your work is never stalled. The faster you employ this philosophy the faster your business can grow.